Building Fort Knox

This afternoon, after chairing an EGM meeting, I went back down the allotment to sort out the chickens. With the drop in temperature over the past few days, the Warden has set a date for the water being turned off. So in preparation for it being off tomorrow, I had planned on cleaning out the new coop as cleaning out coops without running water is difficult.

It didn’t take long to clean it out and as the coop was drying, I pottered across to the greenhouse to check on Flora and her leg. She is walking much better now although she does still have a tendency to hold her leg up a little. Pleased with her progress, I topped up their food and water and headed back to the new coop. Gordon greeted me with a disgruntled click, clearly not liking the upheaval in the nest box despite never having used it. Carefully, I replaced the two laying boxes in the hopes the girls would come and start using them. Once they were in, it was a matter to putting down a good layer of fresh bedding and closing up.

None of them were interested in going inside. So to amuse myself, I herded them to a corner and put them inside one by one. After a few seconds where I thought they would stay, they appeared one by one, sprinting out of the box like it was some sort of dreadful prison. I really shouldn’t expect any gratitude after having chickens for so many years but it does still sting after you have spent ages cleaning out their home. Rolling my eyes, I headed across to the main coop.

With increasing cases of avian flu up and down the country, I walked around the main coop, assessing what needed to be done in order to secure it from the pesky sparrows who insist on breaking into the coop. Using a liberal supply of cable ties, I pulled the netting up to block any holes and added a piece of wire to block a small hole in the roof that I know the sparrows like to use. On a roll, I used another spare piece of wire to block the gap between the roof and top of the coop side. Ideally, I need to get my hands on some more netting and properly finish off the roof but that was a job for another day.

My final task was to go around the big coops and check they were secure from Mr Fox. It’s the time of year when fox attacks increase and you can never check your fences often enough. I discovered a slight issue in the new coop where the fencing attaches to the nest box. A couple of screws soon secured it into place. I gave it a few hard nudges and prods to check it would stay in place. It did thankfully. Back over to the main coop, I fixed the lock on the coop door which has needed to be done for weeks. As I checked the door, I realised the top of the door had become unattached from the rest of the door. Grabbing the screwdriver, I wrestled to screw the frame back together whilst balancing precariously on tiptoes. Happy now that I could do no more until I had materials for the roof, I headed home to warm up.

Back at home, I was greeted by a fluffy of feather feet eager for their afternoon treats. I collected a solitary silkie egg and left the Silkies and the Ancient Ones to enjoy their food in peace.


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